Research Outline

African Mothers


To determine the number of mothers (women have birthed at least one child) who reside in Africa and can currently access the internet.

Early Findings

  • According to a study published by UNICEF, there were 280 million women of childbearing age in Africa in 2015. This total is projected to increase further to 407 million by 2030. The Economist projects that Africa’s population will double by 2050.
  • About 30 million women become pregnant every year in Africa, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Bank estimates Africa's maternal mortality rate at 824 per 100,000 births.
  • According to a UN report, the mean age of childbearing in Africa fell slightly to 29.0 years in 2011, from 29.4 years recorded between 1970–1979. However, African mothers represent the group with the lowest age of first birth — that is, African women typically become mothers earlier than women of other regions in the world. The mean age of first birth for African mothers was estimated at 20.7 years in 2011 by the United Nations.
  • The vast majority of African countries report low rates of childlessness among women of childbearing age. Almost all countries in the region, except for a few exceptions, report a childlessness rate of 5 percent or less.

Summary of Findings

Our initial hour of research shows that there are several available pieces of information that can be used to estimate the number of mothers in Africa. Although we were not able to provide any data on internet connectivity in Africa due to time constraints, we believe this information is also publicly available. So far, we have been able to identify the number of women of childbearing age on the continent, annual fertility rate, mean age of childbearing and first birth, as well as the overall rate of childlessness among African women.